Universal child care was promised by the B.C. NDP government in the 2017 election. (Wikimedia Commons)

B.C. starting universal daycare pilot program

Free for low-income, ‘less than $10 a day’ for many others

The B.C. government is inviting licensed child care providers to sign up for a pilot program to begin its universal child care plan.

The pilot project is to “model” child care at a cost of $200 a month per child and use the results to plan an expanded program, says a statement released Friday by the provincial and federal governments.

“The new prototype sites, which will run from Sept. 1 2018 to March 31, 2020, will convert approximately 1,800 licensed child care spaces at existing facilities around the province into low-cost spaces for families,” says the statement from the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development and Employment and Social Development Canada.

“For eligible families with an annual pre-tax income of less than $45,000, child care will be free at these facilities through the new Affordable Child Care Benefit, which will officially roll out in September 2018. Families with a pre-tax income under $111,000 will pay less than $10 a day.”

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James introduced the government’s first step in subsidized child care in her February budget, funding licensed child care spaces to reduce parents’ fees up to $350 per month.

The pilot program will give priority to Indigenous parents and children, immigrants, parents under 25, francophone families, parents who work shift work or extended hours. Another priority group is described as “families with children who have diverse/extra support needs and/or require inclusive child care spaces.”

RELATED: B.C. Greens object to $10 daycare fee

Webinars are being offered for licensed child care providers eligible to apply.

The 1,800 spaces planned for the pilot program is the same number as the construction of new spaces announced by the previous B.C. Liberal government in 2016.

Projects in the Lower Mainland include six sites in Surrey, two each in Abbotsford, Langley and Coquitlam and one each in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Burnaby, Delta and Squamish.

On Vancouver Island, funding was provided to three projects in Duncan and one each in Nanaimo, Victoria, Comox, Port Hardy and Tofino.

In the B.C. Interior, three projects were approved for Kelowna, two in Penticton, and one each in Naramata, Castlegar, Cranbrook, Enderby, Princeton, Houston, Kamloops, Merritt, Vanderhoof and Dawson Creek.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

First residents move into Nuxalk Nation’s tiny homes

Four of the tiny homes are now complete and residents have moved in

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

New report calls for regulated heroin sales to curb B.C.’s overdose problem

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

VIDEO: Woman, off-duty cop in serious condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Most Read